Board & Accountability

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.
— Malcolm X

Our Current Board Members

Our current board is composed of founders, parents and members of the community who bring deep expertise and a broad set of skills from their education, non-profit management, legal, finance and business backgrounds.

Click the names below to read bios of our board members.

Julie Mikuta
Board Chair

Chair of Education Committee.

Julie is President of Education at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Prior to joining Schusterman, Julie was a Managing Director at NewSchools Venture Fund, focused on teacher preparation. Previously, she led trainings for school board and superintendent-teams of large urban districts at the Center for Reform of School Systems. Julie served as an elected member of the D.C. Board of Education from 2001 until 2004. During her time on the School Board, Julie was Vice President of Alumni Affairs for Teach For America. Julie began her career in education teaching high school science in New Orleans through Teach For America. She graduated from Georgetown University, where she was captain of the women’s basketball team and did a doctorate at Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar. Julie is on the boards of Stand for Children, Urban Teacher Center, New Teacher Center and Relay Graduate School of Education, and on the Advisory Board of Teaching Works at the University of Michigan.

Julie lives in Oakland with her eleven year old daughter who attends a Mandarin immersion charter school.

Brianna Swartz
Vice Chair

Chair of Board Development Committee.

Brianna leads operations and technology systems at Education Pioneers, a nonprofit organization working to bring thousands of exceptional leaders and managers into the education sector, to advance the critical work of hundreds of education organizations, and to impact the education of millions of students nationwide. Prior to joining Education Pioneers, Brianna administered the membership programs and operations of the California Charter Schools Association. She also served as a leader of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network San Francisco Bay Area (YNPNsfba), an active voice for thousands of young professionals that provides support for young nonprofit professionals through professional and leadership development, networking events, and social opportunities.

Brianna graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a degree in political science, and received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California.

Jessica Norman
Treasurer and Chair of Finance

Jessica is Senior Advisor at ExED where she prepares budgets and financial feasibility studies for start-up charter schools and provides other technical assistance prior to school openings. Previously as VP of School Finance for ExED, she functioned as the CFO for several charter schools in Los Angeles. Jessica is also a consultant for Pacific Charter School Development where she conducts financial feasibility and risk analysis of charter school facility projects. Previously, Jessica worked for the Urban Education Partnership as Associate Director of Research and Evaluation. She has also worked at LAUSD in the Program Evaluation and Research Branch, analyzing data on charter schools, and at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington DC as a research assistant. Jessica holds a master’s degree in public policy from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Pleasanton with her husband and two young sons.

Joy Lee

Joy is a Marketing and Product Research Lead at Uber, where she works with teams to understand consumers and guide business strategy. Her past experience includes serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in China, where she taught English at Panzhihua University, and an internship with Education Pioneers where she worked at a foundation to analyze their portfolio of education investments and help streamline their grants management system. She has experience tutoring for various organizations, including Building Skills Partnership and Literacy Volunteers. Her additional professional experience includes serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia and roles at Clorox, Fitbit and Facebook in consumer insights, and UBS in operations. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS in Business Administration and minor in Engineering, and holds an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Lucia Hwang
Chair of Facilities Committee

Parent-Elected Board Member. Parent of 2nd grade student.

Lucia Hwang is a Yu Ming founding family parent, former co-chair of the school’s Family Support Organization (FSO), and former head of the FSO communications committee. In her professional life, Lucia is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of investigative reporting and writing experience, and has worked at California Lawyer, the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Newsday. She is also co-author of the book, Every Nonprofit’s Guide to Publishing. Lucia currently edits the magazine of National Nurses United, the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States, and works as a key member of the organization’s communications team. Though Lucia was born in a Mandarin-speaking country, she gained her current fluency and literacy skills through her college studies and commitment to ongoing personal learning. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in English and minor in education, and also holds a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Ron Lewis
Chair of Diversity and Enrollment Committee

Ron is the Regional Manager for New Partnerships at eSpark Learning, an organization with the mission to re-imagine learning so it is student-centered, enabling students to succeed in school and life. In this role, he oversees the partnership development across 25 states in eSpark’s western region. Prior to eSpark, Ron worked as a District Partnership Manager at Chalk Schools, Chief of Staff at African Leadership Academy, and a Consultant at Bain & Company. Ron’s deep passion for helping all student get access to high-quality educational experiences developed during his time as a board member of USC’s Norman Topping Student Aid Fund and as a 7th-grade summer school math teacher at Oakland Unified’s Roots International Academy. Ron is a proud Oakland native who received his BA in business administration from the University of Southern California and his MBA from Stanford University.

Alcine Mumby

Biography to come

Sonali Nijhawan
Board Member

Sonali Nijhawan joined the YMCS board of directors in 2017. She works as Director, Partner Engagement for Education Pioneers. Education Pioneers recruits, develops and connects diverse, talented professionals – including graduate students – to work for K-12 school districts, charter schools, and other education organizations. By investing in leadership and managers in large urban school systems and education non-profits she hopes to empower individuals to bring new vision and challenge the status quo of our public education system.

Sonali’s journey to support educational equity began in 2006 when she served as a City Year AmeriCorps Member in her hometown of Chicago. During her year of service she learned firsthand how access to an excellent education and a robust support system could define the life trajectory of Chicago’s students. In her work at City Year Sacramento, Sonali worked to identify, cultivate, solicit, and manage key strategic relationships with partners across the public and private sector. In addition, she also worked to support the development of strategy and vision in the areas of local marketing, fundraising, operations and school impact.

Sonali holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and education from Marquette University, as well as a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Eric Peterson
Chair of Fund Development Committee

Parent-elected Board member. Parent of 2 Yu Ming students.

Eric is Director of International Programs and Dual Language Immersion for West Contra Costa Unified School District in Richmond, CA. In this position, he develops and manages international programs which foster global competencies in students and staff. Also as part of this position, he serves as the Principal of West County Mandarin School in Richmond. Eric was previously a Director of Special Education for West Contra Costa Unified School District. Prior to that, he was Principal of Dover Elementary School, the largest elementary school in the district with over 800 students in preschool through sixth grade. Dover also has a bilingual program in Spanish.  Eric is an accomplished educator and was honored in a White House ceremony in 2011 as a National Board Certified Teacher. He has experience teaching at all grade levels and has taught in Virginia, California, and in Alaska Native villages. He has a master’s degree in Education from the College of William and Mary and holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from Concordia University. Eric is active in several professional organizations, including the Association of California School Administrators and the California Association for Bilingual Education. Eric developed Spanish proficiency through study in Mexico and Guatemala, and he also studied Mandarin in college.

Ethan Warsh
Board Member

Ethan currently serves as a project manager at BRIDGE Housing, where he manages all aspects of multi-family affordable housing developments in the Bay Area. Prior to joining BRIDGE, Ethan was a project manager in the Bay Area office of Pacific Charter School Development, where he managed new facility projects for high performing charter schools. Ethan has also served in real estate related roles with AltSchool, Inc., the former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development in Washington, D.C. Ethan received his master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University, and his bachelor’s degree from New York University.

Seeking Candidates for Board of Directors


Public charter school in Oakland, CA seeks experienced leaders to serve on its Board of Directors.

Yu Ming Charter School provides an academically rich and challenging environment for children to become bilingual and bi-literate in Chinese and English. The school opened in Fall 2011 with Kindergarten and 1st grade, and is growing one grade each year until it will serve approximately 450 students in grades K-8. The organization is both a 501c3 not-for-profit organization and a public school.


Board Responsibilities

The Board is responsible for establishing broad policies and overseeing high-level decisions that affect the School, including:

  • Adopting policies to ensure that the school is run effectively, legally, and ethically;
  • Hiring, overseeing, evaluating, and supporting the school Principal;
  • Monitoring the operational budget and finances for long-term viability;
  • Setting policies and approving documents as required by state or federal law; and
  • Seeing that adequate funds are secured for the operating and capital needs of the school.


  • Prepare for and attend 12 regular evening board meetings every year, as well as one full-day Board retreat, scheduled committee meetings, and important school events;
  • Be available by phone or email as needed; respond to calls and emails in a timely manner; and
  • Participate on at least one Board committee.


  • Leadership experience with a proven track record of results, ideally in an entrepreneurial environment
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability and inclination to work collaboratively with individuals from a variety of backgrounds
  • Commitment to and interest in Mandarin language education in a public school
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills

Experience preferred

We are especially seeking individuals with any of the following areas of expertise:

  • Education program design related to dual-immersion and Mandarin language development
  • Real estate acquisition and development, including project financing

In addition, we also need people with experience in:

  • Fund-raising for not-for-profit organizations
  • Accounting and finance
  • Designing, delivering and evaluating an academically rigorous education program, including curriculum, pedagogy, and assessments
  • Attracting, developing and retaining educators

For more information: contact Eric Peterson Board Chair:


Board Meetings
June 20, 2019
May 16, 2019
March 7, 2019
January 24, 2019
December 13, 2018
October 18, 2018
September 9, 2018
June 21, 2018
May 30, 2018
March 3, 2018
December 14, 2017
November 30, 2017
October 19, 2017
August 26, 2017
July 7, 2017
June 30, 2017
June 22, 2017
June 15, 2017
May 18, 2017
April 20, 2017
March 2, 2017
January 19, 2017
January 3, 2017
December 12, 2016
November 17, 2016
October 20, 2016
September 22, 2016
August 27, 2016
Committee Meetings
March 4, 2019
January 17, 2019
November 15, 2018
September 26, 2018
September 12, 2018
November 27, 2017
November 20, 2017
October 3, 2017
August 10, 2016
Charter Authorization

Yu Ming Charter School is a “county-wide benefit” charter authorized by the Alameda County Board of Education (ACOE), who unanimously voted to approve our charter on November 9th, 2010 and renewed our charter in 2015.

Yu Ming Charter School is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization incorporated in the State of California, and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors as established in its bylaws. The bylaws are guided and defined based on our charter.